Immigration Law Advice as Refused Entry to the UK
Do you need immigration law advice because you have been refused entry to the UK? In this guide, our specialist immigration solicitors look at your options if you have been refused entry clearance to the UK.
UK Online and London-Based Immigration Solicitors
Entry clearance or visa refusal
It is not uncommon for a visa application or for entry clearance to be refused. It may be because you did not realise you needed a visa before travelling to the UK or you tried to make your own application without expert help from an immigration solicitor and you did not realise what information or documents you would need to provide to secure your visa. Alternatively, you may have asked a non-specialist solicitor for help. Our expert immigration solicitors are used to being asked for immigration legal advice on refused entry clearance and refused visa applications where there is a complex background or frustration that previous solicitors have not been able to secure a visa or entry clearance for you.
Whatever your circumstances and the reason for the entry clearance or visa refusal call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 for impartial legal advice on your best visa options.
When can OTS Solicitors help with entry clearance or a visa refusal?
Our individual immigration and business immigration lawyers can help if:
- You were refused UK entry clearance on arrival in the UK. This could be the case even if you are from a country where you do not require a visitor visa or other type of visa to come to the UK on a temporary basis
- You were refused a family visa or work visa or another type of visa from overseas
- You have been refused a visa application made from within the UK, such as an application to switch from a student visa to a spouse visa or a graduate visa
- You have indefinite leave to remain status but you have been absent from the UK for over 2 years and you have been refused a returning visa
- Your business has been impacted by a visa refusal, such as a senior or specialist worker visa where you are wanting to redeploy an overseas-based worker to the UK or a successful job applicant has had their skilled worker visa application refused
Whatever the circumstances of the visa refusal it is best to take urgent legal advice because there are time limits on the steps you can take to challenge a visa refusal.
Entry clearance refusal
Entry clearance can be refused for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Border officials do not think you are entering the UK for tourism purposes or that you will leave the UK. Entry can be refused if officials do not think you are a genuine visitor. That can be the case whether you have secured a visitor visa or your nationality means you do not require a visitor visa for a temporary visit
- Border officials do not think that your stated work activities fall within permissible activities for nationals who do not need a visa to enter the UK on a temporary basis or for those entering the UK on a visitor visa. For example, on a visitor visa, you cannot get a job or transfer your job temporarily to a UK branch of an international company but you can attend seminars, training events, conferences and interviews as part of the list of permissible activities under a visitor visa
- Border officials think you are using a series of visitor visas to effectively live in the UK and that is not the purpose of a visitor visa
Immigration solicitors recommend that you do not attempt humour with border officials as it can be taken out of context. For example, a joke about how expensive hotels can be in the UK and that you will need a job to pay the hotel bill or that paying the hotel bill may give you a heart scare could result in border officials erroneously thinking you will be working in the UK or that you have planned your trip as a health tourist to access the national health service. Whilst border officials do have a sense of humour jokes can get lost in translation so it is best to keep it friendly but professional.
Despite having applied for a visa, a border official does have the power to refuse entry and cancel your entry clearance and visa under immigration rules. The decision to refuse entry can be either mandatory or discretionary. Mandatory refusals include situations where travellers to the UK are required to have a visa to enter the UK but do not or do not have a passport or travel paperwork or entry clearance is refused on medical grounds. Other refusal decisions are at the discretion of the border official.
Many visa holders struggle to understand how a Home Office official can grant them a visa only for a border official to refuse entry clearance and cancel the visa. A border official has the power to cancel a visa where deception is suspected. For example, if you are arriving on a visitor visa but you have a letter from a UK employer offering you a job in your luggage or if it is suspected you are using a visitor visa to gain permanent UK entry as you have no intention to leave.
What happens if you are refused entry clearance?
If you are refused UK entry clearance you need urgent immigration legal advice to assess the options available to you.
A border official could:
- Refuse your entry and say you must leave the UK on the next available flight or
- Refuse your entry and detain you. If you are deported you could face a time-limited ban on re-entry
Any entry clearance refusal will go down on your immigration record and make it harder for you to apply for a visa in future. That is why you need immigration law legal advice either whilst you are in the UK or on your return to your home country.
If you are refused entry clearance the border official will provide a letter with an explanation. It is crucial that you keep this letter as it will help your immigration solicitor understand the Home Office’s reasoning behind the decision and how to challenge it.
Travelling to the UK after entry clearance refusal
If you are planning to come to the UK after you have previously been refused UK entry clearance it is best to speak to an immigration solicitor to avoid wasting time and money and to avoid the embarrassment and the implications for your immigration record of being refused entry clearance again.
If strictly speaking you do not require a visa, it may be best to apply for one because even though a border official has the power to refuse entry clearance, they are less likely to do so if a visa application has already been vetted by the Home Office.
It is also best to bring the right paperwork with you in your hand luggage and to have your answers ready. For example, if you are seeking entry clearance on a visitor visa have some information about where you plan to stay and be able to give the address and contact number of the friend or family member you will be staying with or know the name of the hotel where you will be staying for your first night in the UK and your travel plans if you are intending to go on tourist trips around the UK. If you are coming to the UK to attend a wedding, bring the letter inviting you and the formal invitation. If you are coming to the UK to do permissible activities whilst on a visitor visa, bring a letter from your employer stating that you will be attending a conference or seminar or other permitted activity. Having evidence that your trip is for genuine reasons will help you secure entry clearance. It can also help to have a return flight booked or evidence that you can afford to support yourself while in the UK and can pay for a return fare.
Being refused entry clearance is upsetting and you may not want to try to return to the UK immediately. However, if there is any prospect of a return trip it is best to get immigration law legal advice to see how the impact of an entry clearance refusal can be minimised on your immigration record.
UK Online and London-Based Immigration Solicitors